NEW figures reveal an ongoing crisis at Coventry’s accident and emergency department – with around a quarter of patients not seeing a doctor within the target waiting time.
NHS England’s release of data for last month, December 2019, comes after city MP Colleen Fletcher called for a second walk-in centre to be opened in the city to alleviate the problems.
Almost a quarter of people who attended University Hospital in Walsgrave, Coventry, had to wait over four hours to see doctors.
In total, 77.3 per cent of patients were seen in a four-hours target over December at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW).
December’s figure is worse than the October figure of 80 per cent, but slightly better than performance in November of 75 per cent.
The pressure on emergency resources was highlighted by Labour MP for Coventry North-East, Mrs Fletcher, at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (January 8).
She told the House of Commons about local concerns over waiting times for emergency treatment at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, and invited ministers to see the situation in Coventry themselves.
Patients waited up to seven hours to be seen over one weekend in October.
The government’s national target since 2004 is for 95 per cent of patients to be seen within the four-hour waiting time.
Ms Fletcher said: “In Coventry, like much of the rest of the country, hospital A&E waiting times have been under constant pressure, with the latest figures showing that almost a quarter of attendances are waiting four hours or more to be seen.
“I am aware that the government has made commitments to invest in the NHS, so would the Prime Minister agree to meet a delegation from Coventry to discuss the possibility of a second walk-in centre, to alleviate some of the pressure on our overstretched A&E department?”
Responding, Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested he would be happy to meet the delegation, or Health Secretary Matt Hancock would arrange discussions.
The hospital at Walsgrave admitted a total of 21,507 patients in December 2019. Staff attended to 16,631 people inside the four hours target and 4,876 had to wait longer than four hours.
UHCW was the sixth busiest trauma centre in the West Midlands, with the Queen Elizabeth and Heartlands jointly the busiest at Birmingham’s NHS Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), where just 62.8 per cent of patients were seen within four hours.